Poetry News

Lorca's Lover's Name Emerges

By Harriet Staff

According to the Guardian:

The identity of the lover to whom Federico García Lorca wrote passionate verse in his final year has been a mystery ever since the poet's assassination during the Spanish civil war. But now, more than 70 years later, his name has finally emerged.

The art critic and journalist Juan Ramírez de Lucas kept a box of mementoes of their year-long passionate relationship, including a previously unseen poem and a diary, hidden away throughout his life.

He handed the box to his sister shortly before his death in 2010.

The box revealed that García Lorca and 19-year-old Ramírez de Lucas had planned to go to Mexico together after falling for each other in Madrid, where the latter was studying both public administration and theatre. But Ramírez de Lucas was too young to travel without his parents' permission, so he went back to his native Albacete to talk to them days before the Spanish civil war broke out, when rightwing rebels launched a coup attempt against the republican government.

A bit more on their Mexican trip:

Ramírez de Lucas's conservative family had been appalled by his request to go to Mexico with García Lorca and refused him permission to travel, threatening to send the Civil Guard after him if he tried to leave. He could not legally travel abroad without their permission until he was 21.

García Lorca wrote him a letter, told him to be patient and assured him that it was important not to break with his family. "Count on me always. I am your best friend and I ask you to be political and not allow yourself to be washed along by the river (of fate)," the poet wrote, according to a version of the letter published by El País newspaper.

The letter – accompanied by orange blossom from Granada – was one of the documents Ramírez de Lucas held on to, along with a Lorca poem which describes his hopeless attraction to the "blond young man from Albacete".

"I can't even look at him!" he repeats in the poem, which was apparently written on a journey the two lovers made to the southern city of Córdoba. The poem is handwritten on the back of a receipt for the Orad Academy in Madrid, where Ramírez de Lucas was studying. A handwriting expert has reviewed the poem and declared it to have been written by García Lorca.

The poem is dated in May 1935, at the same time as Lorca was writing his famous sonnets of dark love.

Even more after the jump.

Originally Published: May 11th, 2012